Football

Is Con O'Callaghan one of Ireland's best hurlers?

Joseph Conroy
Joseph Conroy

12:55 23 Sep 2019


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Is Con O'Callaghan secretly one of Ireland's best hurlers? The Dublin five-in-a-row star went viral on Sunday after a blistering brace.

The All-Ireland winner was back in action for Cuala in the Dublin Senior Hurling championship and wasted little time making an impact.

With just four minutes on the clock, O'Callaghan rode a heavy challenge to net for the Dalkey side.

He added another goal in the seventh minute and finished the match with a tally of 2-3.

O'Callaghan's contribution helped Cuala beat Kilmacud Crokes by 3-18 to 1-11 at Parnell Park.

King Con

The electric forward has racked-up three senior All-Ireland football titles while helping Dublin to their historic five-in-a-row and has also secured two All-Ireland club hurling medals with Cuala.

In late 2017, during another hot streak, Off The Ball put forward the idea that O'Callaghan could be one of the best hurlers in the country to nine-time All-Ireland winner Tommy Walsh.

The Kilkenny icon gave a fascinating response.

"To me, Con O'Callaghan is the best hurler in Ireland," he told OTB AM at the time.

Walsh compared O'Callaghan's unpredictability and the reaction he inspires from crowds to a young DJ Carey.

Acknowledging that the Dublin star would be afforded less time at inter-county level - Walsh was of the opinion that O'Callaghan could still be among hurling's elites - if he made the switch.

Eóin Noonan/Sportsfile

With Dublin's footballers riding an all-time high there is little to suggest that we'll see O'Callaghan lining out for the hurlers in the foreseeable future.

Con O'Callaghan blitz

His stand-out performance came in the second half of Dublin's comprehensive semi-final victory against Mayo.

Lee Keegan told OTB exactly what it was like to play against the power-forward while he scored two goals in rapid succession.

"We went into a complete bubble where people were afraid to look for the ball. When they were in their pomp, I mean, it was just so hard to stop them.

"Your head is kind of just spinning at the time, thinking; there are runners left, there's right, do you pick up this guy, do you go to another guy?

"You just felt like it was never going to end."

Looking back at his battle with O'Callaghan, Keegan said he knew he personally had an off day but that the Dublin forward also showed his class.

"I had Con and he got the two goals in 12 minutes so my head was spinning quite a bit as well.

"It was just 12 minutes of complete dominance from Dublin but also silliness and naivety from us.

"I was on a yellow as well so he did what any great forward would do: he took me on in the one-on-one positions," Keegan said.


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